2016 Top 40 Under 40: Candace Brakewood, Ph.D.

Sept. 6, 2016
Candace Brakewood, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York

Candace Brakewood, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

The City College of New York

  • One Word to Describe Yourself: Energetic
  • Alma Mater: Johns Hopkins University (BS); MIT (MS); Georgia Tech (PhD)
  • Favorite Transportation Book: “Human Transit” by Jarrett Walker
  • Favorite Hobby: Running and playing the piano
  • Favorite Transit System (other than one they work at):Zurich, Switzerland because the trains always run on time

Candace Brakewood is on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the public transit industry as an academic. She is an industry and academic leader in innovative fare payment technologies and their applicability to public transportation.

Brakewood’s research focuses on understanding how new information and communication technologies can be used to improve public transportation, particularly in the area of smartphone applications. She works directly with transit agencies for her studies, which deal a lot on real-time information apps and as well as mobile ticketing apps.

She teaches grad students systems planning and operations and many of her graduate students are employed at local transit agencies or various consulting firms. Her students are able to immediately apply what they’re learning in the classroom to their day job.

Outside of her office, she has an enormous impact on the local transit community through her leadership in organizing NYC Transportation Camp. Transportation Camp brings together transportation professionals interested in technology. It was initially started five years ago in New York and in 2015, Brakewood led a group of 16 young professionals to bring it back and hosted about 400 people, including students, faculty, transit agency staff, engineers and others interested in transportation.

Brakewood was a founding member of the Boston chapter of the Young Professionals in Transportation and then led as deputy chair. She has also been involved in the young member’s council of the Transportation Research Board. She has presented at many conferences and published in multiple journals, including the Journal of Public Transportation and the Transportation Research Record.

“As part of my undergrad studies, I had the opportunity to be part of an exchange student in Zurich, Switzerland for six months and I fell in love with public transportation while I was there. I was so impressed with their extensive transit system but more importantly, their reliability of service. The system literally runs like clockwork and that inspired me to pursue graduate studies in transit.”

Fun Fact: Brakewood regularly two graduate-level course at City College: Transit Systems Planning & Operations and Transportation Economics. She also teaches an undergraduate-level course in Transportation Planning at City College.